5 tourism trends to watch in 2021 with Pól Ó Conghaile

SARURE (Saving Rural Retail) South Sligo announces the fourth and final event in the series. All interested parties are welcome to join online on Tuesday, 16th February at 10-11.30a.m. as SARURE explores the developing trends in the tourism sector for the upcoming 2021 season with Pól Ó Conghaile, Travel Editor with The Irish Independent and a regular contributor to National Geographic Traveller. Pól will be joined by Johny Conlon of Pudding Row the Grocer, Easkey to talk about changing their business model and retail offering in relation to COVID19.

Photo of Pol O Conghaile

Pól Ó Conghaile has been voted Travel Writer of the Year in both Ireland and the UK, has been published all over the world, and as a travel expert features regularly on national TV & radio. Pól is the author of Secret Dublin: An Unusual Guide (Jonglez) and a speaker at travel, media and food events, including the National Geographic Traveller masterclasses. He is a father of two, husband of one, and thanks to Covid-19, is now a Travel Editor that hasn’t flown in almost a year. Follow him on Twitter at @poloconghaile.

Register:  https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUrcO6pqzgtHN0USWh7nwtOpEfrga64EJnf

or through the link on SARURE South Sligo Facebook or Twitter page.

In 2015, Johny and his wife Dervla opened Pudding Row Cafe in Easkey. The cafe quickly grew with national and international recognition. In March 2020, they had to close their doors when the Coronavirus Pandemic arrived in Ireland. They quickly changed strategies and started taking orders online for local collections and nationwide shipping of breads, cakes and Comfort Kits (homemade hampers of Pudding Row goodies). In July 2020 they opened Pudding Row the Grocer in Easkey to focus on takeaway food, drinks and a selection of the best Irish food products. Johny said “This proved to be a safe bet as the Grocer has remained open right through the highest level of restrictions, providing a safe outlet for people in West Sligo to buy food and fresh baked breads.”

Ray O’Grady, Sligo County Council discusses the projects background “The traditional model of high street retailing is under significant pressure in the modern age.  The pressure on the high street retail sector is being felt most acutely in rural areas of not just County Sligo but in similar such areas all over Europe. This has increased two-fold in 2020 with the arrival of COVID19 and the added pressures on retail. Sligo County Council has partnered with Local Authorities and Universities from across the continent to seek innovative solutions to the growing problem of the loss of vital retail services in our valuable rural communities. We look forward to this virtual event discussing the opportunities for businesses offering tourism products and how they can utilise and engage the rural retail in Sligo”.

SARURE is an Interreg Europe project to which Sligo County Council is partnered. It is an inter-regional cooperation project which is tasked with improving policies aimed at SME competitiveness. The project is led by the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Services of Teruel (Spain) and we are joined by partners from Burgenlandkreis (Germany), Western Macedonia (Greece), Aragon (Spain), South Karelia (Finland), South Warmia (Poland) and Soderhamn (Sweden). The project is funded by the European Development Fund has a total of value of €1.38M and will run from June of this year until November of 2022.

The project is led in Sligo County Council by Michael Carty and Ray O’Grady.

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